The Club No One Wants to Join

I am a member of a club that I really did not want to join. A club I would have run from if I had the choice. However, in January I went from Jr. Status in Training to a full fledged member when my Mom died. We pay no dues, but the price we pay is extremely high. We don't have nametags, but when we meet another in The Club, we know we have met a kindred spirit. There are no meetings, but once we find another Club Member, we hold tight to that connection, because none of us wants to be in The Club. We do not discriminate. We have members of every race, gender, age, background and financial status. What Club am I talking about? The Motherless Club. Many of us joined when our Mothers died. Some of us were forced into The Club through childhood abuse, neglect or abandonment. What we all have in common is that we are Motherless. And it sucks.

Speaking as a mother myself, it is a hard road to travel being a Mom without a Mother to look to for guidance, stories of my own childhood and just the general support system that Moms are "supposed to" offer. It can be a frightening path to walk when you are doing it without a Mom to guide you. Recently a member of The Club, Karen Rani of
Troll Baby, realized there should be a place for us to vent, meet and talk about our experiences, so a website idea was born and a woman with web experience took the idea and ran with it. Inspired by Arianna Huffington's keynote, combined with Karen's fear about writing about her own childhood that needed to be faced, she saw the value of a website like this. To quote Karen:

"All my life, I have supressed the emotions that I have felt about my childhood. My mother was abusive in every way, an alcoholic, and suffered from mental illness. I thought that by not dealing with these emotions, that I was moving beyond the hurt. The truth is, all I've done is kept a bottle of sadness chained around my ankle for this long.

The newly launched Motherless is looking for submissions and people are more than welcome to remain anonymous. Submissions are needed and welcomed. If you want to submit to the site, just drop them a line. Motherless has also turned the categories function into an author's list, so people wanting to follow along with certain contributors, can. It's not a requirement of any of the authors, it's very flexible, and there are no real rules. You can blog anonymously, or not. You can choose to be an ongoing contributor in the sidebar, or not. It's really up to what people are comfortable with.

Here is the description on the blog:

Have you lost your mother to her passing, substance abuse, emotional unavailibility, or something else beyond your control? I have. I'm here to blog about it, and allow you to share your story here, if you so desire.

Should you decide to share your story, please know you have the option of submitting anonymously. If you want your identity known, please say so in your email, and provide the appropriate link(s) to your website.

Also, if you plan on submitting your story on an ongoing basis, please choose a name you would like used. I'm going to use the categories function here to put storytellers names in the sidebar, and those who want to can follow along with their favorite authors.

Face it, none of us want to be in this Club. But many of us are. Now we have a place to meet up and share our stories. Here are a few samplings:

Karen (who game me permission to tell you she is writing under the name Jane) says:

I don’t understand how a mother can choose an abusive husband over her children. Or why my ‘normal’ family members never stepped in. I just. don’t. understand.

In the words of Emily:

What bothers me most now is not her actual death, but the death of everything I loved about her. This happened, or started happening, at least a year or more before her actual death. Depression had taken her over and only got worse as the sickness took effect. In the final months the cancer seemed to seep into her brain and eradicate everything I knew about her. She became a completely different person. She was weak and needy, which was understandable, but I was not used to that from her. I couldn’t really talk to her any more because she would get worried about the smallest things and would obsess about them until you practically had to lie to her to convince her that everything was going to be fine. This was so different from who she used to be that I could barely stand it. She was not my mother anymore. Many times I hated being around this person. I got mad at myself for feeling that way, but at the time, I didn’t know how else to feel.

When she died, I was glad that she had finally been put out of her misery.

This is a heavy site. But those of us in The Club need to get it out sometimes. Sometimes, we need to share out stories. This is the bravest way we have to do so. I encourage you to visit, share and learn from this site and these contributors. If you are also a member of The Club, I encourage you to submit your story. Togther we can all stand unafraid to speak the truth and in turn we will feel less alone.

Personally, it is a site that spoke to me. It is hard to be a Mom without a Mother to guide you. Regardless of why you are Motherless, the very fact that you are, well, it hurts. It hurts badly.

BlogHer Contributing Editor Jenn Satterwhite also blogs at Mommy Needs Coffee, Aggroqueen and Mommybloggers.

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